Thursday, February 16, 2017

did you need to watch something pretty right now?

I've got just the thing:


After I watched this, I looked up the song and then listened to it four times in a row. What can I say, when I find something I like, I COMMIT.

(It's To Build a Home by the Cinematic Orchestra.)

Saturday, January 28, 2017

what if their story were my story?

For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

Matthew 25:42-45

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

books of 2016

Inspired by Kylie and my Goodreads yearly summary, I present to you a list of all the books I read in 2016. Looking over these titles makes me so happy; there are a lot of winners here. (It took some serious self-control not to add a little note about each book and what I liked about it and now I'm realizing I should probably just write reviews on Goodreads after I read books like a normal person.)

Non-Fiction:
Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Camon
Death on Earth: Adventures in Evolution and Mortality by Jules Howard
You May Also Like: Taste in an Age of Endless Choice by Tom Vanderbilt
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

General Fiction:
The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
These Is My Words by Nancy E. Turner (re-read for book club)
Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal
Glory Over Everything by Kathleen Grissom

I Couldn't Stop Thinking About:
A Short Stay in Hell by Steven Peck
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
Maus by Art Spiegelman
Maus II by Art Spiegelman

Technically for Kids But I Still Read Them:
Wonder by R. J. Palacio 
Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle (re-read for book club)
Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech (re-read on New Year's Eve so I could make my 30 book goal)

Two Fantasy/Sci-Fi Series You Must Read:
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
Red Rising by Pierce Brown
Golden Son by Pierce Brown
Morning Star by Pierce Brown

Were You Wondering Am I Still Obsessed With Brandon Sanderson? Yes I Am:
Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson
Firefight by Brandon Sanderson
Calamity by Brandon Sanderson
Mistborn Secret History by Brandon Sanderson
The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson

The Worst Book I Read This Year/Do Not Read:
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Out of all of those books, my favorite by far was The Name of the Wind, followed closely by the second book in the series The Wise Man's Fear. They're beautifully written and extremely entertaining. I also have to say that Wonder is a delightful gem of a book, and I would highly recommend it, too.

BONUS Favorite Movie of 2016:
"Arrival"
YOU MUST SEE THIS MOVIE. It is incredible. It's thought-provoking and life-affirming and it made me cry like 3 times because life is so beautiful, you guys. I can't stop thinking about it.

Back to books. I made a goal to read 36 books this year, which means 3 books per month. I'm going to need a lot more book ideas to make that happen. What was the best thing you read in 2016?

Monday, January 9, 2017

still not my president

My anger has subsided to a slow burn that mostly only flares up whenever I read Donald Trump's Twitter feed. I have unfollowed him so as not to ruin my life. Here are some other things I've done that have made me feel, if not better, at least a little more in control:

I subscribed to the New York Times and have been basking in the luxury of reading as many articles as I want instead of counting down my 10 free ones per month (their student rate is only $4/month-so worth it).

I called the Justice Department's comment line and left a message expressing my concern about Russia's interference in the election. You can too: 202-353-1555.

I also called my senators and expressed my concerns about the incomplete vetting of cabinet nominees that are supposed to have hearings this week. Why is this even controversial, guys?

I officially changed my party affiliation to Democrat, something I never thought I would do, but here we are! Welcome to the hellscape that is a Trump presidency! I have been utterly disgusted by the lack of moral backbone or any semblance of putting country before party/personal gain from the majority of Republican leadership (exception: Mitt Romney, whom I will probably always love) and couldn't stand being a registered Republican anymore. I do like voting in primary elections, though, so if I can't be a Republican, I might as well get to vote in Democratic primaries. So hi, here I am, definitely on the conservative side of the political spectrum, and yet now a Democrat. THIS IS FUN.

The best feeling I've had since November 10th, though, was Christmas shopping for kids whose parents can't afford it for this program. There is not a lot I can do about Trump rapidly dismantling America. There is not a lot I can do about children dying every day in Aleppo. But I can buy a dang Barbie for a little girl's Christmas in the Philly area and that feels pretty good.

Any more ideas on how to resist the Trump ugliness? I'd love to hear them.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

"if you try to break a glass ceiling, you'd better be prepared to get cut"

I keep forgetting for a half second and then I remember and feel my stomach drop all over again because we elected Donald Trump president of the United States.

My visceral reaction to the news has surprised me. It feels personal, because I relate to Hillary Clinton, in that she's worked for a long time to try and succeed in a male-dominated field and has often been held to a different standard because she's a woman. I think a lot of my ambitious female friends feel the same, and therefore this defeat feels like a personal rejection of the "nasty" women we aspire to be.

Part of the depth of my reaction is probably from the shock. I really expected America to resoundingly renounce That Monster with his groping and sexual assault bragging but we didn't. Instead, we implicitly endorsed his misogynist, hateful views and propelled him straight to the Oval Office. You can grab em by whatever you want because they're women [not people] and we just don't care. His deplorable treatment of women wasn't enough for us to get over Hillary's emails or Hillary's potential Supreme Court nominees or whatever it was that you thought was so important that we elect an accused rapist instead.

You can keep all your unity and acceptance and blah blah blah to yourself for now because I'm livid. And I'm allowing myself to indulge in that for a little bit until I figure out how to shape this rage into something more productive than this blog post and a bunch of retweets.

If you have ideas, I'm all ears.

(title quote from this article)

Sunday, October 9, 2016

trying to avoid a skunk butt rug

My definitely-too-small, cheap living room rug from IKEA has seen better days. I've been wanting to replace it for months now but can't decide what to go with. The room is pretty neutral in color, with some blue accents (patterns on pillows) and kind of ugly red/gold cushions on our dining chairs. So, I'm debating sticking with something neutral, trying something that has both reds and blues, or just running with blue. I have my books organized by color (very rainbow-y!), and I kind of like the idea of playing that up (hence option 4).

Tell me which one you like! (or if you happen to have seen a great rug out there, leave me a link)

Friday, September 16, 2016

my current facebook experience: a steady barrage of MLM groups

Lately, whenever grad school sucks too much, I think to myself,

at least I'm not selling Lipsense,

and I feel a lot better.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

on love and fear

*

Following this exchange, Aaron came outside and severely disabled the menacing grasshopper that was blocking my path to the front door. (I have a phobia....yes, STILL.)

What would I do without him? I'll tell you, I'd wander aimlessly around Philadelphia until the grasshopper found another porch to stake out. Could be days. Maybe I'd have to sleep at a friend's house. Or stay indefinitely in lab. Fulfill my dreams of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler'ing in one of Philly's many lovely museums. The possibilities would be endless, except for entering my house, of course.

So it's a good thing I'm married to him! Grasshopper gladiator = my one true love.

*I realize that's the wrong it's in the top message, and I'm missing a lot of commas. I blame my terrorized state.